“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


softness sleeps beside me

nestled against my neck, and my dreams are dappled with the shadows of flowers and giggles and goodbyes; they are filled with blue doors and open windows and nighttime streams silent with the moon's reflections, as if there were many moons overhead. starshine flickers under traincars as a train rushes by and the light flashes onto my skin, cool, white, blinding if i look with both eyes fully open. i close them.

there is a white box overflowing with pink flower petals in the refrigerator and i have no idea how to preserve them, though the refrigerator has held them for 5 months and the pink hasn't faded. they are as fragile as butterfly wings and as sacred as a true lover's whispered promise in the night, and i hold onto them still, afraid to lose them, afraid to move them. softness.

the road i am on now is a soft road, unpaved, that childhood sand of my grandmother's road, but i am no longer scared of my shadow; i am traveling by night again and my shadow is cast by the moon and the stars, that moon of my dreams, the stars of my waking. i am barefoot and the softness of the sand is a pleasure ~ like lake water, it is warm at the top, cool underneath, and i revel in that cool underneath. softness. it is the road i have chosen. it forked and i turned this way.

i find myself often on those old remembered roads, the roads that led to safety and warm arms and sassafrass trees and 4 o'clocks, and secret trails through the woods, roads shadowed by trees as tall as the sky, and i am soft on those roads; life holds everything before me. they are dream roads, living now only in my memories, but they are where i choose to begin again. the navigation of this year has drawn to an early close and my new map starts here, starts now, in bare feet and pink toenails, the polish chipped and worn, with the summer sand between my toes, hair bleached blonde by the sun. the fears i felt then i still feel, but i choose now to gentle those fears. i will fight them no longer, and at last, befriend them. even fears need warm arms to hold them.


  1. they do, those fears, and after you hug them a few times they start to relax a little, they get used to it.

    each one of your posts is like a beautiful page in a picture book, i see you there, little girl, grown woman, toes curling in the sand, looking off into the distance, deciding which path to take.

  2. i might be reading between the lines here, but what i think it says is that you really are going to come see me this winter.....

  3. Wordless...God, that is beautiful, Debi!!

  4. Many of your posts take my breath away - and this is definitely one of them. "i choose to gentle those fears" so needful, so full of poetry.

  5. Now, the only problem is figuring out what to actually do with those white petals in your refrigerator... Perhaps a ceremonial scattering...

  6. The way your mind works just amazes me. The way it dips into the past and winds back through the present. The way you let it go and it runs so freely through fields of tall sunflowers. And it always makes me think of art and beauty. I wish you could teach me how to do that.

  7. Lovely, lovely words and thoughts. Pink chipped toenails and pink rose petals.

  8. you render me speechless, words elude me. You are truly a wonderful writer. Thank you for sharing openly, honestly.


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